Can travel incentives lure visitors to travel again?
Since the whole world went on lockdown back in March, many of us have been making a furious mental list of all the places we ‘re going to go once we’ve finally been able to travel again.
Now borders are reopening and limits are being gradually lifted, hotels and resorts are reopening and travel opportunities have once again become a reality.
And after months of little or no revenue from tourism, destinations all over the world are pulling out all the stops or ensure tourists select them in the new age of travel for their first major trip.
Cancun, in south-eastern Mexico, has launched a “Come to Cancun 21” campaign that will presumably offer two free nights of accommodation charged for every two nights and refund the fare for one plane ticket so that tourists can carry along a companion.
Casino owner Derek Stevens gave over 1,000 flights back in May to Las Vegas to jump-start domestic tourism in the USA.
Cape Fahn Hotel, the first private luxury resort on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, has recently unveiled a “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” offer on its luxurious pool villas.
Although tourists will still have to pay for their flight and lodging, Bulgaria’s Balkan nation has decided to stop charging tourist fees on its iconic beaches for sun loungers, umbrellas and even tables.
Geneva Tourism has launched “Geneva Boxes” in Switzerland, consisting of urban experiences and hotel packages providing discounts up to 65%.
And it’s not just massive savings, and in some cases freebies, that travelers are currently on the table.
Different countries choose to launch competitive campaigns to convince customers nervous about travelling following the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that they are a “safe” destination.
Central Asian nation Uzbekistan has gone as far as giving tourists who sign Covid-19 during their holiday there a payout.
The “Uzbekistan: Safe Travel Guaranteed” campaign aims to reassure travelers by promising to compensate any tourists infected with Covid-19 during their stay for a sum of $3,000.
Meanwhile, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which reopened its borders in June to selected countries, pledges to cover the cost of accommodation, food, drink and medicine for visitors who test positive for the virus during their stay.
But, as the struggling travel industry struggles to recover, are these sweeteners really enough to encourage reluctant travellers to take the dip?
45 per cent of respondents said they planned to fly within a few months of the pandemic outbreak in a new survey by the International Air Transport Organization, while 33 per cent said they would stop flying in the future to minimize the chance of catching the virus.
Joanna Lord, Chief Marketing Officer at Skyscanner travel search engine, says discounts, particularly lower prices, are an easy and efficient way to build demand in the first instance, but as time goes on, travellers may concentrate more on safety than price.
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